Tag Archives: blogging

…what’s in a WURD?… Author buddy, Tony McManus explains…

…the use and abuse of the English language is part and parcel of the quill-scraper’s lot… this ol’ Jurassic takes great delight in rejoicing in reading how wordsmithing craftsmen and women practice the proper application of nuance and descriptive writing… other occasions will cause us all a collective groan… my Author pal, Tony McManus, puts it succinctly here for yeez :

tony

‘YOU’RE SO AWESOME, DARLING’

I have a list of around thirty words and phrases that are overused, incorrectly used or mercilessly abused and debased. Here’s a few:

Actually

Absolutely

Basically

Honestly

Totally

Amazing

Really

People who use these words repetitively in conversation are demonstrating how dull and ignorant they are. They are not listening to what’s being said, so they react by replying with these reflexive words. These are just a few that rankle. But at the top of this list is that once powerful word: AWESOME.

I say once powerful because now it is used to describe the most mundane of things and events and consequently has been totally devalued, leaving it with little of its potency. I ask you; how can a cup of Starbuck’s Latte be “awesome”? An “awesome” movie? Last night’s pizza was “awesome”? This is nonsense.

Iguazu Falls are definitely awesome.

Hurricane Katrina was awesome.

The Grand Canyon is awesome.

The Himalayan Mountains are awesome

Reinhold Messner’s Himalayan mountaineering climbs were awesome.

Felix Baumgartner’s parachute jump from the edge of space was

awesome.

The Battle of Britain was an awesome battle.

Michelangelo’s sculpture, David is an awesome work of art.

A fine lasagna, no matter how well made and tasty, is NOT awesome.

In 1988 along with seven others, in four canoes, I paddled the length of the South Nahanni River in Canada’s North West Territories. No roads up there, all travel by bush plane, or canoe; fly in, paddle out. Bear country and all the mosquitoes you can handle. It’s a twenty three day paddle downriver from the source to Fort Simpson; three days of it dangerous white water. And it rained for seventeen of those days. We were cold and wet, but ate and slept well at river bank campfires. We did it without a single capsize and arrived at Fort Simpson safe, exhausted, but happy men. After a big party, we said goodbye, shook hands and went our separate ways. We’d met as strangers and parted friends, never to meet again. What we did was a great adventure something we were all proud of. But it wasn’t awesome by any stretch.

I could go on, but I’ve made my point. Awesome has been so devalued and ruined, we can’t seriously use it anymore. We, writers especially, are forced to look for other equivalent words to describe the truly awesome.

I suggest we cease using it. Completely. We should put the word back in its box to rest and allow it to recuperate, rebuild its atrophied muscle and get healthy and strong again for use by future generations; it will take years to get back its credit. But those future generations will thank us. So the next time someone posts a photo of an ice cream cone on Facebook and tells you it was “awesome”, set them straight. And kick a little ass in the process.

 

Tony McManus was born in Manchester, England. He worked in many jobs to serve his passion for travel such as English teacher, bar tender, taxi driver, and in southern Africa, construction work in the Transvaal goldmines and the copper mines of Zambia. Tony pursues and advocates good health, via diet and exercise. An outdoorsman, sailor, kayaker and canoeist, he also loves hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

He is the author of an espionage novel: The Iran Deception based on his time in Israel. He has just published: Down And Out In The Big Mango, a collection of short stories set in Thailand. His second novel: A Bangkok Interlude is due out by late summer.
He resides alternately in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Ste. Adele, Quebec, Canada.

He can be found at: http://downeastern.wix.com/tonymcmanuswriter

Or via his email: downeastern@hotmail.com

Tony is the author of a novel: The Iran Deception. http://amzn.to/1Ppb45P

And a short story compilation: Down and Out in the Big Mango. http://amzn.to/1FetYVl

He has published several short stories:

Ray: http://amzn.to/1Ge6jq9

A Bangkok Solution: http://amzn.to/1A8LCuy

A Partner in Crime: http://amzn.to/1ENZpn2

The Bangkok SAS: http://amzn.to/1d5cVMb

He is presently working on two crime novels: A Bangkok Interlude, the first book in a series featuring Mike Villiers.

And The Company of Men, the first book in a series featuring James Fallon.

He expects both novels to see publication before the year’s end.

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

5 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…a wee bit of practicing what I preach… SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES…

…emb’dy who’s been kind enuff to follow this ‘ere blog on a regular basis will know by this time I write the Jack Calder crime fiction books… however, yeez’ll also be aware of my continual rabbiting on about ‘building yer platform’ through the use of the SOSYAL NETWURKIN channels… I’m more than gratified by the constant downloading of the novels, but even more so when I see the purchases on my sales graph page of my wee guide, SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES… I pushed it out onto the Great God Amazon more than a year ago… NUTHIN pleases me more than watching my fellow quill-scrapers ’get it’ about how an author can properly and profitably use the few NETWURKS that I employ, namely Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ Tumblr, Pocket, and of course the Blog itself… and by the way, given that all authors, even those with a publishing house, are expected to carry the lion’s share of the promotional and marketing activities to their readership, it’s relevant for them, too… here’s the introduction to give yeez a taste of it:

 

SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES

Foreword

I started writing my first crime thriller novel in early 2009. I finished the first draft in a matter of a few months. Then, I thought, all I have to do is to send it off to a few Literary Agents in London. One of them would be sure to throw lots of money at me for the right to carry my masterpiece into the public readership market.

In fact I sent off forty Query Letters, submitting the novel for consideration. In the beautiful balance that is the writing universe, I received back precisely forty Rejection Slips. It took a while later for me to understand from fellow authors, that such rejection was the standard, the par for the course. Indeed, many famous names in the libraries had initially racked up several times that number of rebuffs for their work.

Around the same time someone suggested I put the thing onto Amazon Kindle. I looked blank and explained that I had never heard of Kindle. You see, then in my early sixties, the whole computer business and social networking fields were distant concepts to me. All my commercial life, my offices had been run by a succession of personal assistants who did ‘that stuff’ for me. I was faced with the option of forgetting the whole authorship idea or adapting rapidly to the realities of modern self-publishing.

The result has been astonishing. Sales and downloads of my books (currently three crime thrillers, with a fourth as Work In Progress) have surpassed 75,000 copies.

It has been a wonderful and gratifying trip. I will not pretend to be an expert on the social networks nor on the ePublishing business. I simply want to show what worked for me.

‘Self-Publishing Steps To Successful Sales’ is intended to share with others the various steps I took on that journey, and to encourage independent writers never ever to give up on their dreams.

Seumas Gallacher

Abu Dhabi

2014

 

…if yeez are interested, yeez’ll find the baby here :

cover2

UK: http://amzn.to/Qq2c3y

US: http://amzn.to/1lt6bcv

Aus : amzn.to/1DSbNFN

Can   : amzn.to/1GYAyAV

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

14 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…the Author quality that ties it all together… stamina…

…I read once a clever piece in that wunnerful throwback publication, The Readers Digest (emb’dy remember that smashing monthly magazine?)… it was one of those pithy endpiece fillers… it was a ‘FOUND’ advertisement clip from sumb’dy’s local newspaper:

                                                                                                                                                                                     FOUND

…black kitten with white frontal stripe, white paws and piecing blue eyes, prob’ly about six or seven weeks old—answers to the name, ‘Go Away!’

cat

…and I can’t help relating that sentiment to many of we quill-scrapers… almost daily I see posts from my fellow Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, rueing the fact that, yet again, their Query Letters to prospective Agents and Publishers result in rejection slips… I know, I know, I know, some of yeez might be thinking, ‘it’s okay for him, smaaaht-aaass Master Gallacher, coz he’s got a Publisher now’ (the splendid Crooked Cat Publishing folks, Stephanie and Laurence Patterson)…

CC_logo_PastedGraphic-18_(1)…but let me hasten to point out that I was a totally self-publishing, independent scribbler for almost six years before the Publisher partnership tie-in came along… in fact these days, there’s a strong school of thought that feels being on yer own, self-publishing, p’raps frequently may outweigh the attraction of being ‘housed’… I’m not gonna argue the case either way, coz I see merits in both scenarios… suffice to say, the time I spent on my own was invaluable… I learned the down-to-the-varnish-Facts-of-Life about how the modern Author requires to be immersed in his/her ‘business of writing’… y’see, whether or not yeez are solo or with an Agent/Publisher, the writer is still expected to carry a major part of the marketing and promotional activity… consider the arithmetic… if a Publisher has, say 100-200 authors in their fold, that equates individually to 0.5%-1.0% focus of their energy on each house name, on the p’raps naive presumption all the scribblers are treated equally (a-hem!)… the practicality remains… yer own efforts are still the principal driving force behind yer own success… go for it!… in my not-so-‘umble opinion,the Author quality that ties it all together is stamina… hang in there and remember wee ’Go Away’… meeeeaaaaioowwwww!….see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

18 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…bad?… yeah, yeez better believe I’m bad… emb’dy else out there this bad?…

…this ol’ Jurassic crossed the invisible Age Barrier quite a wee while ago… yeez know the one I mean… when yeez have more candles on yer birthday cake than the local Fire Department regulations allow… well, it’s a signal age yeez should watch out for when yeez officially begin to be regarded as ‘bad’… watch the behaviour of most (admittedly not all) of the upcoming generation, and yeez’ll see what I’m getting at… eons of ‘the-right-things-to-do’ have been stamped into my DNA since I was a kid in Docklands Govan in Glasgow… as tough and hard an environment as yeez would find anywhere in the post-WWII UK…

manners

…but, p’raps more with wishful thinking these days, I still expect youngsters to yield their seats on buses and trains for older people and for ladies, as I do myself… the next generation stare at me when I behave like that.. I’m obviously bad’ news… holding doors open for others in places like shops… sorry, unheard of in the main… ‘bad’ again… that’s me… calling waiters/waitresses/taxicab drivers/bus drivers, ‘Sir’ and ‘Ma’am’… with ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ thrown in as natural responses… downright criminal… treating police officers, schoolteachers, doctors, nurses and librarians with respect… how bluudy alien can I get?…

please

…walking on the outside of the pavement/sidewalk when escorting a lady in the street … are yeez completely daft, Master Gallacher?… expecting parents to keep their offspring under reasonable control in public places, supermarkets and shopping malls, instead of allowing their mini-persons to run amok as they wish… and, heaven forfend, Mabel, frowning at the cacophony that passes for supposedly private conversation when mobile telephones are used like megaphones… I recall it used to be known variously by the quaint descriptions of ‘manners’, ‘politeness’, ‘social graces’… alas, my fate seems sealed… today, on a flight from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi, the instant the plane stopped on landing, and the usual nonsensical surge of passengers to pull their bags from the overhead lockers began… the guy across the aisle from me yanked his luggage from above and smacked me square on the skull… instead of the ‘I’m sorry’ which I foolishly anticipated, I was greeted with a wordless scowl… how dare my head be in the way of his baggage?… my ‘bad’… definitely, my ‘bad’…and for the next seven minutes until the plane door actually opened, I remained seated, as is my practice, while most others stood and fumed, including my new assailant who steadfastly kept his back to me… the only way I’ve found to combat this malaise, is to ‘polite’ the hell out of the malcreants… ‘bad’?… yeah, yeez better believe I’m ‘bad’… emb’dy else out there this ‘bad’?

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

21 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Taexali Game… a great new title from Authoress, Nancy Jardine…

…my Crooked Cat Publishing scribbling chum, Authoress Nancy Jardine has sum’thing to share with yeez, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… a new title, no less, and as per her usual terrific background material narratives. this one’s captured stuff and goings-on in the Highlands of Scotland around the year 200 AD… yes, yes, Mabel… I know I could’ve helped her with first hand knowledge of the period…

The Taexali Game officially launches on the 22nd May 2015.

Final Nancy Jardine x 488

Everyone loves playing advanced interactive computer games, don’t they?

Callum Fraser’s games are totally awesome but when his Rubidium Time-Leap flips Aran Bruce and his best friends—Brian and Fianna Fraser—back to AD 210, the reality is incredible. They have a task list to fulfil, which includes solving a local mystery, but it’s a nightmarish business when Ancient Roman Emperor Severus and his legions heap death and destruction on the Taexali Celts of northern Britannia.

Giving help to Celts and Romans alike becomes a lethal assignment—some Celtic chiefs are as foul as Severus and his beastly son Caracalla. Dicing with death becomes the norm for the time travellers from Kintore, Aberdeenshire.

Will they complete the mission and return to Callum unscathed?

The action of The Taexali Game —Book 1 of Nancy Jardine’s Rubidium Time Travel Series of Adventures for Middle Grade/YA readers (and anyone older who loves a good fast-paced yarn)takes place in ‘Aberdeenshire, Scotland’ in AD 210, during the invasion of the legions of Septimius Severus, Emperor of Rome. The local Taexali Celtic tribes of this far north in Britannia have already had dealings with the soldiers of Rome, back in AD 84, but they haven’t been good subjects. They’ve been causing such a lot of grief to the Governor of Britannia that the Ancient Roman Emperor, Septimius Severus, has come to Britannia to flood the north with his super-trained army to teach the wayward Celts a harsh lesson.

During their adventure, Aran and the twins— Brian and Fianna— are initially in awe of the Roman fighting machine but they find Emperor Severus’ is a horrible man. That’s only till they meet the emperor’s son Caracalla who is even nastier. None of them want to be skewered by a Roman gladius or slapped into Roman slave chains but avoiding that fate is nearly impossible.

As well as uncovering the answer to a local contemporary mystery, the time travellers have a task list to fulfil but how can they when the some of the Celts they encounter are just as deadly wielding their Celtic longswords?

This adventure novel is designed as a rollicking good read with the added bonus of being a companion novel to younger readers doing a study of Celtic Roman Britain. There’s a wealth of historical data used in the novel, gleaned from archaeological interpretative information, wrapped up in a fast-paced, readable, adventure mystery quest.

The fantastic cover design is by graphic artist Neil Saddler who has done a great job to encompass the main aspects of the novel- its impact both local and global.

The novel is available across Amazon in paperback and ebook formats.

Amazon UK Amazon US  Amazon France   Amazon Canada  Amazon Australia

Amazon Germany

More about Nancy Jardine

nancy 2

Her Celtic Fervour Series of Historical Romantic Adventures (3 books to date) is set in first century AD northern Roman Britain. Book 3 (AD 84) culminates in a horrendous clashing of Celtic Sword and Roman Gladius on the foothills of Beinn Na Ciche (Bennachie) where the amassed Celtic warriors of the north, led by tribal leader Calgach, take on the mighty Roman legions led by General Gnaeus Julius Agricola. Book 2 of the Celtic Fervour Series was in the long list of books read for THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION 2014.

Nancy Jardine also writes contemporary mystery romantic fiction which gives her the opportunity to include fabulous world wide locations in her novels—Amsterdam, Vienna, Heidelberg, Barcelona to name only a few. She has also had great fun using her love of ancestry research when creating the family trees for two of her contemporary mysteries. Take Me Now, a humorous mystery/thriller will be re-launched by Crooked Cat Publishing on the 5th June 2015. Topaz Eyes, a mystery /thriller was a Finalist in THE PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE 2014.

Please contact Nancy/ or find updates on her writing at these author links:

http://nancyjardine.blogspot.co.uk   http://nancyjardineauthor.com/   Twitter @nansjar Facebook: http://on.fb.me/XeQdkG and http://on.fb.me/1Kaeh5G (for The Rubidium time Travel Novels.) email: nan_jar@btinternet.com

Amazon Author page for books and to view book trailer videos:

UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nancy-Jardine/e/B005IDBIYG/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Most novels are also available from Barnes and Noble; W. H. Smith.com; Waterstones.com; Smashwords; TESCO Blinkboxbooks; and various other ebook stores.

 

All are welcome to pop into the official Facebook Event that’s on-line to launch the novel on Friday 22nd May. Participate in fun quizzes featuring Celts and Romans and win a novelty prize. The grand prize of a signed paperback of The Taexali Game could be yours, or if you only read on kindle a few review e-copies will also be on offer as prizes. https://www.facebook.com/events/839159202815971/

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

16 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Farley’s Rusks, tinned strawberries, and milk… dessert for a King in Docklands Govan…

…we’re a nation of eclectic taste, we Scots… taste in different things… fashion buffs fr’example… the wearing of tartan kilts for the Male Caledonian has been going on for centuries … yes, Mabel, even before that Mel Gibson lad changed his nationality and made yon Braveheart movie, the greatest advertisement for the Scottish National Party… the invention of wellington boots is down to the ‘Chookie’ Wellington (Eng: Duke of Wellington), but the wearing of ‘wellies’, these great feet-protectors for sludging through ‘glabber’ puddles (Eng: mud pools), is an art perfected by wee Jimmies and wee Nellies up and down Scotland’s fair land… and contrary to common belief, we did not invent rain… the Big Lad upstairs carries the can for that one… but where our taste defeats, defies and dements the rest of the WURLD, is in food… haggis is held in equal measure of respect and trepidation by outsiders… the delicacy known as Fried Mars Bars, the pension-pot builder for heart surgeons everywhere, was born in Scotia… square sausage, Forfar Bridies, whisky… pots of soup, with ingredients added to daily for months until no-one remembers what the original dish was s’posed to be (nor cares)… however, an esoteric kitchen composition which I rarely sight these days, found its genesis in the old days in Docklands Govan where we lived in Glasgow… milkruskstrawb

 

 

 

 

 

 

….acknowledge if yeez will, the genius of cuisine invention that brings together baby biscuits, normally intended for teething toddlers, brand name, Farley’s Rusks… place in a bowl… pour in some of the contents of a tin of strawberries… (back then, we all thought strawberries grew in cans, Mabel), with the delectable syrupy juice from the can… then yeez mix in a wee splash of milk, either condensed, or plain… nectar.. ambrosia… a veritable dessert for a King… for a small fee this ol’ Jurassic’s prepared to share these culinary secrets with the Cookery Champions, Messrs Roux, Ramsay  and Oliver… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

19 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…once more unto the telephonic barricades, comrades… vive la voice!…

man

…it’s a jingle jungle out there… which is why this ol’ Jurassic is more than happy to stay indoors most of the time… but even within the comparative security of one’s own domestic dominion, peril lurks… it’s an open secret that yours truly was born a l-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong time past, when stuff generally was a lot simpler… and specifically, stuff like making a straight-forward telephone call to yer favourite service provider of anything… back then, yeez usually got an instant, welcoming, melodious, female, ‘come-to-bed-with-me’ kinda voice saying, ‘…ah, that’ll be Mister Bert in Haberdashery.. let me put yer call through, Sir’… and moments later, the helpful Mister Bert would indeed solve yer issues in less time than it takes to say, ‘hold on, yer call’s important to us’… changed days now, I fear… case in point this morning… from the relative safety of my own armchair, yet another assault on my patience, nerves, and anxiety levels… the Satanic, tinny, squeak that  passes for a vocal communication ordered me to press this button and that button and then a hundred and one other buttons to ensure that I am now familiar with every possible division and supposed service available from the organisation I’ve just called… this time it happened to be a bank, but don’t be fooled, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… the disease is everywhere… IT companies have it as a terminal affliction, and it’s infectious… I think yeez catch it through yer listening ear… cable television providers, credit card companies, mortgage lenders… they’re all smitten… a pal on another line suggested I merely press the ‘zero’ button to get through to a ‘real’ voice immediately… alas, the b*stards are wise to that now, and the tapping of the ‘O’ frequently gives yeez the ‘thank you for yer call, goodbye’… and yeez are compelled to gird yer digital loins and dial again…

reaper

…there’s a fortune waiting for the person who devises a button which, when yeez press it, automatically detonates a nuclear-fission-style explosion effect on whatever company is at the other end of the robotic line… evil? yes, but a sublimely happy thought… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

16 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff